The Sun News

AUCHIPOLY students protest, disrupt exams over union election

…Police allegedly arrest Students Union president, 2 others

From: Gabriel Dike

Students of Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, on Monday, have staged a protest against the management for non-conduct of students’ union election in the institution.

The students’ protest, it was gathered, disrupted the second semester examination which commenced on Monday, and other activities on the campus.

The protest, Daily Sun also gathered, started as earlier as 7.00a.m, forcing the acting Rector, Dr. Sanusi Jimah, to invite soldiers and policemen to be station at the two gates leading into the institution. The security operatives were also said to have patrolled the school’s campus.

As a result of the students protest, the 2016/2017 second semester examination, academic and administrative have been crippled on the campus as workers refused to enter the campus for fear of being cut in the crisis particularly with the presence of soldiers and policemen.

One of the constants into the students’ union positions told Daily Sun that the management deliberately did not want the election to hold because they suspected their anointed candidates would lose the election.

‘’We have conducted departmental and schools election long time, so why is the management delaying the election into the students union? The management promised election will be held before the second semester examination. So, when they failed to conduct the election, we decided to protest against the decision’’, explained the student.

He disclosed that the students union President, Samson Okoduwa, an HND II Mass Communication student and two other executives were arrested by the police during the protest.

In a swift reaction to the protest, the Public Relations Office of the institution, Mr. Mustapha Oshiobugie, explained that some students were insisting examinations would not hold until students’ union election was conducted, adding that the election could hold because of security reasons.

Oshiobugie confirmed that departmental and Schools’ elections preceding the students union own had been conducted and what was left was election into Senate and Student Union, adding ‘’security report advised the management to postpone the students union election because of vested interest. For example School of Engineering election was manned by violence’’.

Oshiobugie words: ‘’Against the violence that happened last year about some students who did not pay school fees, but wanted to write examination. The management took the security report serious. The students who have not paid their fees wanted to demonstrate using the students’ union election as reason.

‘’Management decided that examination will hold and election will come later. It may interest you to note that it is not the contestants into the various posts that are engineering the protest. It is the outgoing executives that are championing it. As I speak with you, the first paper has been cancelled. By 11.00am, the second paper will hold. There is calm on campus now, staff are going about their normal duty while the students are preparing for the second paper.’’

The image maker of the institution debunked the insinuations that the management invited soldiers, but admitted that policemen and vigilance groups were on ground because of the start of the examination.

He also confirmed that the students’ union president, Okoduwa was with the police, stating ‘’the outgoing president was invited by the police to answer questions on case’’.

The chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Auchi Polytechnic chapter, Mr. Justin Momodu, confirmed the protest but insisted that the campus was calm and that examinations took place in some Schools.

He debunked the insinuation that the campus was in disarray and disclosed that the protest disrupted examinations at schools of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Engineering.

Momodu explained that second semester examinations commenced at Schools of Environmental and Arts and Design noting the students agitations started on Sunday, few hours to the second semester examination.

The management in a circular dated October 9, and signed by Deputy Registrar (Academic), Rev. G. E. Okpeodua, said the management had postponed the disrupted examinations at ICT,  School of Applied Sciences and Technology (SAST) and Engineering Schools.

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